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2 Nights in Boracay Nov 22-24, 2016

2 Nights in Boracay at SandCastles The Apartments

GPS waypoint: 11°57'47.3"N 121°55'24.5"E
Location: SandCastles The Apartments, White Beach, Boracay Island, Aklan (province), Philippines

Boracay Deja Vu
It has been 10 years since my last visit to Boracay. I've heard so much about it since and was prepared to see drastic change to the place. With Outback Greg's travel invite to Boracay and stay at SandCastles The Apartments, I would once again be at this party place often referred to as 'Makati on a beach'

Aerial View
With Air Juan's small 9-passenger plane to Boracay from Coron, the altitude was low allowing bigger view of the underlying islands. This time I opened my Maps.Me phone app and saw where I was during the flight. It also allowed me to identify the scattered islands I could see below. Knowing the actual flight path and the underlying islands we passed over gave me a great sense of bearing and heightened appreciation to the vast natural wealth we have.

2 Nights in Boracay
Boracay morning beach walk

Getting to the Island
It used to be simple getting to the island beach from the airport. Perhaps, with increased human traffic, a new way is now in place, albeit more procedural. From the new airport, we were shuttled to the Arrivals section of the old airport. From there, it was a short walk (150m?) to the pier (Caticlan Ferry Terminal) - you can also take a tricycle if you have heavy luggage. Pier fees are P25 for the ferry and P75 environmental fee. We boarded the ferry to Boracay pier (Cagban Jetty Port). From the pier, we boarded a tricycle to D'Mall (P25) where we walked to SandCastles.

SandCastles The Apartments
Finally, we arrived Boracay! I met the rest of the Hutchinsons - Viveca, Greg's wife and the two kids (who are no longer kids!) Jenet and Josh. They set me up to stay at the Tagbanua Room - a luxurious suite fronting the beach with its porch to watch people go by. Back in the day, when I didn't know the Hutchinsons yet, I would pass by this visually imposing room as a beach promenader. The room then was the only one sticking all the way near the beach - the other establishments were receded back. It was so luxurious I wondered what it's like to stay in a room like that. Now, I am staying there. Lesson? Careful what you wish might actually get it.

Beach Walk
Boracay's great offering is actually free - a leisurely walk on the board walk (there are no boards...just a beach walkway) for the entire length of the beach with all the establishments lined-up - bars, restos, hotels, dive shops, souvenir shops, etc. It was an animated scene. It's a great way to pass the time and experience the increasing expanse of Boracay beach. A beer rest-stop is always refreshing. Watching the beautiful ladies pass by in the skimpiest swim wear is not a bad sight either.

Full House
This is low season on a weekday but Boracay is full. I can't imagine what it's like during high season. It's not surprising. During my Southeast Asian travel, when I meet travelers and ask them about their thoughts on the Philippines, it's usually Boracay, Pacquiao and typhoons. Boracay seems to be the only popular destination they hear about from fellow travelers and travel agencies. The other destinations come second.

Tribal Cafe Dinners
The Hutchinson's beach dinners are lavish and decadent - a gastronomic indulgence for the palate. Fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks, European bread and cheese, big fish grilled to perfection, crispy greens on the salad, and aged Cabernet Sauvingon to wash it all down with. I don't care what they serve at the White House or at Buckingham Palace - I'll have my dinners at Tribal Cafe anytime!

Ending Thoughts
Boracay's party scene hasn't changed. In fact, there's more partying now than ever. For a brief time, it was also my scene - when Bazura Bar and Cocomangas were the only game in town, back in the day when Boracay was still a topless beach. Now, I watch and appreciate from a distance. Somehow, partying in the hope of getting laid at the end of the night isn't as appealing as it used to be. When I asked myself what excites me now, it's actually meeting someone with an interesting story to tell from across the coffee table - engaged in candid conversation with insight and anecdotes to share. If fireworks come out of it, then nice and dandy, but it's just gravy now.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Bugtong Bato Waterfall, Tibiao, Antique

Thank you Greg, Viveca, Josh and Jenet!

with Outback Greg onboard Air Juan from Coron to Boracay aerial view of the many scattered islands in the archipelago...with Maps.Me App, I could identify the islands and get a sense of bearing I saw tucked-away beaches with private palacial homes on the coast home sweet home at the luxurious SandCastles The Apartments
my room, the Tagbanua, was a suite with posh washroom, fridge, kitchen and kitchen utilities at my beachfront patio people-watching for meals, I default to cheap carinderia meals there is a frenzy of town-activities in Boracay
this is Boracay on a weekday on low season beach dinner with the Hutchinsons at Tribal Cafe tree stump Mayurasana at the Deli for European epicurean delights
lamb shank dinner with the Hutchinsons the Hutchinsons outdo themselves as gracious hosts Boracay by night off to Tibiao for hot Kawa-Bath and white water river rafting
Facebook Users
Nov 22-24, 2016

Google Map Boracay, Philippines

tourist attractions in Boracay tourist attractions
  • Ariel's Point in Boracay Ariel's Point - cliff jumping
  • Puka Beach in Boracay Puka Beach - next to White Beach, Puka is a popular beach with white sand and palm groves
  • Bat Cave in Boracay Bat Cave - on the west side of the island, visitors hike through the forest
hotels in Boracay hotel restaurant in Boracay restaurant

Boracay Cost Index

(US$1 = PHP 49.73 as of Nov 30, 2016)
  • PHP 4,800k Air Juan flight from Coron (Palawan) to Boracay
  • PHP 500/night cheap lodging
  • PHP /night luxury lodging at SandCastles The Apartments
  • PHP 10 regular tricycle fare
  • PHP 25 tricycle fare from pier to Boat Station 2
  • PHP 25 ferry from Caticlan to Boracay
  • PHP 75 environmental fee paid in Caticlan together with the ferry fee
  • PHP 50 cheap carinderia meal for travelers on a budget

How to Get to Boracay

There are numerous flights to Boracay from Manila and Cebu. Upon arrival by plane, you will be transferred by van to the Arrival Section of the old airport. You can walk it to the pier (very short walk) or take the tricycle if you have heavy/bulky luggage. At the boat terminal you pay:
  • PHP 25/pax for ferry
  • PHP 75/pax for environmental fee

PHP 25 tricycle fare from Boracay Pier to your hotel on Boat Stations 1, 2 and 3

Currency Converter

Boracay Blogs by TheLoneRider

Suggested itinerary on the WEST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Pandan - Malumpati Spring
  5. Libertad - Maanghit Cave, Ati Cave and Bungan-Bungan Spring
  6. Sebaste - Igpasungaw Waterfall
  7. Culasi - Malalison Island
  8. Tibiao - hot kawa-bath, white water river rafting, Bugtong Bato Waterfall, rice terraces, Tibiao Bakery, pottery, fish spa
  9. Anini-y - Nogas Island, scuba diving

Suggested itinerary on the EAST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Kalibo - Bakhawan Eco-Park, Tigayon Hill
  5. Tambak - oysters
  6. Capiz - Roxas City
  7. Carles | Estancia - Gigantes Island Boat Tour, Lighthouse of Gigantes Island and Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island
  8. Iloilo - Batchoy Indulgence

»» next Traveling story: Exploring Bugtong Bato Waterfalls, Tibiao
»» back to Traveling
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